TV Review: The Expanse 1×02 “The Big Empty”

The second episode of Syfy’s new series, The Expanse, picks up right where the last episode left off, suggesting we’re going to be thrust right into the action. And since action was kind of what the setup heavy premiere lacked, this was definitely a good sign! And while this episode didn’t quite deliver on the action I was expecting, the stakes were absolutely raised, and the mystery behind the show is continuing to get more interesting, even though I’m pretty sure I still have absolutely no idea what’s going on, which is probably exactly where the writer’s want us to be.

The surviving crew of The Canterbury have a long way to go before they can consider themselves safe, and much of this episode is dedicated to their continued fight for survival after losing their ship and their crew. Oxygen is in short supply, it seems like pretty much everything is broken, and the odds are definitely not in their favor (okay, I only went there because Wes Chatham who plays Amos, is also Castor in the Mockingjay movies). There are some close calls, but eventually they’re in one piece enough to at least put out a signal and hope for rescue. And of course that rescue comes from a Martian ship. Now, I don’t pretend to have a grasp on the politics of this show yet, but I think it’s safe to say that these guys and Mars are not on the same team. Since it never seemed likely that all five characters would simply suffocate during the second episode, this seems like as good a way as any to keep the tension high while preventing anyone from talking about whatever it is that’s going on out here… in the expanse!

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Now if you think my summarization of the remaining Canterbury crew was muddled, just wait until we touch on Earth and whatever is going on in the asteroid belt. Because I still basically have no idea where this is headed. Detective Miller is continuing his search for the missing socialite, but also helping to track down some water thieves. I did catch that the miner’s water rations had been slowed, more as a political move than anything else, though we’re only beginning to see the bigger implications of all this. And back on Earth, Chrisjen Avasarala (copying and pasting that name in as we really haven’t been given much to connect with this character on yet) is starting to pay the price for her decision to torture a suspected spy. But again, how this works into everything else, I couldn’t tell you.

So while I can’t say I didn’t enjoy episode two, The Big Empty, it also offered up a little less than I was expecting. And it’s fair to say my expectations came entirely from the fact that Syfy opted to air episodes two nights in a row, likely in an attempt to hook in more potential viewers. Still, I want to know more, which is a pretty great feeling to be left with when trying out a new television show. Hopes are high for The Expanse, and so far it looks like there is a master plan in mind for this first season which will hopefully start to come together over the next several weeks.

Kellie Sheridan may as well live on the internet or in a library. She is a Young Adult author, spending her time writing and watching far too much Netflix near Toronto, Canada. You can find Kellie on Twitter (@Kellie_Sheridan) or contact her by email at kellie@theyoungfolks.com